Wednesday, December 26, 2007

True tacos

Posted By on Wed, Dec 26, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Southwest Detroit's Taquería La Tapatia serves a variety of tacos prepared in the traditional manner: two soft and warm house-made corn tortillas topped with a choice of meat and garnished with fresh cilantro and onion. Choose among five tacos all priced at one dollar, containing not ground beef but carne asada (thin cuts of skirt or flank steak marinated then grilled and chopped) or al pastor (pork marinated in a blend of spices and then slowly cooked on a vertical rotisserie). For the ultimate pork fat taco, try seasoned and deep-fried pork skin, chicharrón, which makes a tender taco filling that is almost shamefully delicious.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Staying power

Posted By on Wed, Dec 19, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Enjoy waxed-paper-wrapped burgers, sandwiches and bar food with chunky crisp steak fries and creamy coleslaw sides. The hearty soups are house-made with a cheese-and-broccoli that's tangy, and a tomato that's silky-smooth and deftly seasoned. The savory chili is laden with meat and mildly hot. For a modest $5.75, you can have a cup of soup and then select a go-with sandwich from among ham, tuna, turkey, chicken salad and grilled cheese with bacon. Even more impressive in terms of cost-benefit is the surprisingly ample portion of succulent, deep-fried walleye ($5.50) that comes with fries and a coleslaw basket. Among other items on the menu are Reubens, a steak sub, buffalo wings, popcorn shrimp and, for the few kids who wander in with their folks, chicken fingers. This is primarily a beer-and-shot joint with a several TVs generally tuned to sports, two pool tables, a juke box, and a venue for some of the liveliest and occasionally profound conversations that you will ever hear.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Flavor & fun

Posted By on Wed, Dec 12, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Neighborhood Italian joint has eclectic and "from scratch" fare. A fresh Caesar or Caprese salad will run you $6, and a pizza with feta, grape tomatoes, roasted banana peppers, kalamata olives and more is $8. Tender, fluffy gnocchi of ricotta and spinach come surrounded with a rich sauce, and veal saltimbocca arrives on soft layers of rapini and gnocchi, resting in a silky Marsala sauce. There are many more beef, chicken and seafood entrées, and 30 glasses and 60 bottles of wine to wash them down. What's more, there's often live music (call for schedule) and legendary Royal Oak martini bar Goodnight Gracie is connected to the restaurant.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A full menu

Posted By on Wed, Dec 5, 2007 at 12:00 AM

The bare tables and paper napkins belie the relative stylishness of the setting, and the huge menu meanders through steaks and seafood to Italian and Greek dishes before it gets to its gastronomic raison d’etre — specialties from Lebanon, with hefty portions averaging around $12, including soup and salad, as well as warm fluffy pita baked on the premises. Among 40 starters and salads are lamb sausage, kibbeh balls, labneeh with garlic, saganaki (opa!) and even chicken tenders and cheese sticks. Most of the entrées (the Lebanese ones including various kebabs, kibbeh, grape leaves and a gyro platter) come with an ample helping of vermicelli-enlivened rice doused with tomato sauce. Expect serviceable wines and bottles of Heineken. If you aren't staring down a doggie bag when before dessert, Ike's has a variety of cakes, pies and baklava.

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